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Every time you hit a key during your piano lessons, you’re producing varying sounds that you’ll eventually become attuned to within a short period of time. Your sense of hearing a specific tone or musical pitch, will increase and will help you become a better performer. In this article, we’re going to learn the three components of a pitch, how often to tune your piano, and how to memorize certain tones.

Musical Pitch: What Is It?

Musical pitch is the result of hearing a sound that is either very high or very low. Depending on the clarity of ones’ hearing, the pitch or tone can range from being perfect (completely in tune) to imperfect (out of tune). If you’ve ever watched American Idol, you will have seen a combination of people who sing quite well and those who are completely unaware of their singing ability.

There are three parts that incorporate a pitch: duration, loudness, and timbre. Let’s take a moment to analyze each part.

Pitch Duration

Pressing a key on the keyboard and holding it down will make the length of that tone last for a few seconds. If that key is pressed and immediately released, it will end quickly. This is what pitch duration entails, the amount of time the tone lasts after being produced.

Play the audio files below to see the difference in each musical pitch duration (each audio file will open in a new window):

Short Duration: CDEFG

Long Duration – CDEFG

Pitch Loudness

The amount of pressure you use to play a note on a piano keyboard will determine its pitch loudness. Some of the finger exercises and songs you’ll learn are played softly and others very loudly. There are numerous symbols called dynamics that tell you how to play them, causing a natural flow within the melody. Below is a list of the dynamics used within music sheets that’ll tell you what force is needed to play a them:

Dynamics Chart For Piano Lessons

Dynamics Chart For Piano Lessons

Pitch Timbre

If you listen to Moonlight Sonata, Op. 27, No. 2 (Complete) (you can get it here), you know that it’s being played on a piano. Each key is very distinct and if you’re familiar with how notes sound on a piano, you can instantly tell that a piece is being played on one.

Pitch Timbre is the ability to tell what instrument is creating the sound you hear. The notes played on a piano and clarinet are the same but they have a texture that differentiates them from one another. Click the audio files below to hear the F4 key be played and see which instrument the sound belongs to (audio files will open in a new window):

Instrument #1

Instrument #2

Instrument #3

Instrument #4

Each instrument played the same note but had a different tone quality to them. Were you able to tell what instrument was played? Leave your answers in the comments below.

Musical Pitch: Will My Piano Always Be In Tune?

When you initially buy your piano its musical pitch should be perfectly tuned but as time goes on, the wood that holds the strings in place, the sound board, will swell or flatten out, causing the notes to be on and off tuned in varying degrees. Depending on the climate you live in and how often you play, you’ll want to get your piano tuned 2 to 4 times a year. You can always ask your piano technician their opinion after a few services.

Musical Pitch: How Can I Memorize Different Pitches?

Every time you go through your lessons, you’re training your sense of hearing to what’s being played. Subconsciously, you’re memorizing the musical pitch of your piano and as long as it’s in tune, this is what you’ll hear.

Another way to memorize different pitches is to practice the major and minor scales. The most popular is the C Major Scale because it includes all of the white keys and is easier to play. If you want to practice hearing the black keys, the B Major Scale includes them all.

Here’s an example to get you started. My article Beginning Piano Lessons – Learning The Treble Clef Staff will accustom you to the keys shown below:

 

D F A Notes On The Treble Clef

D F A Notes On The Treble Clef

 

D F A Keys On The Piano Keyboard

D F A Keys On The Piano Keyboard

 

D# F# G# On The Treble Clef

D# F# G# On The Treble Clef

D# F# G# Keys On The Piano Keyboard

D# F# G# Keys On The Piano Keyboard

Conclusion

Becoming accustomed to the sounds you play for your piano lessons increases your awareness of proper musical pitch. The more you practice, the better you’ll be as a pianist. One piece that you can learn to get the full range of the piano keyboard is the Moonlight Sonata (Complete) by Beethoven. Click the image to the left to purchase the music sheet and begin learning this beautiful, yet haunting song.

Have you heard someone sing off pitch or play an instrument that definitely needed tuning? Tell me your story in the comments below.

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Learning the piano scales is a great form of finger exercises and should be a part of your daily regimen in your piano lessons. Of the seven major scales you’ll learn, the easiest to maneuver is the C Major Scale and we’ll discuss it today.

Piano Scales: C Major – How It Looks On The Treble Clef Staff

When you listen to how the C Major Scale sounds in the audio link below, you’ll probably think you’ve heard of it before because it’s the most common key played in music. It is much easier to learn simply because it doesn’t break its pattern when playing the white keys on the piano keyboard. All of the other major piano scales require you to play a black key, causing you to readjust your finger movements. This is not a bad thing because your goal is to play any piece of music with ease. But if your fingers are not accustom to playing on your keyboard, you might want to start with the basics.

Let’s take a look at the C Major scale in the treble clef image below:

Treble Clef Staff Lines w C Major Scale - Absorbing Piano Lessons

C Major Scale On Treble Clef

There is a specific way to play the C Major scale and as you progress with your piano lessons, you’ll learn that every piece and exercise that you play requires an understanding of finger positioning to perform it at its best. Take a look at the image below to see how to play this particular piano scale:

Treble Clef Staff Lines w C Major Scale Numbered - Absorbing Piano Lessons

C Major Scale Numbered

Piano Scales: C Major – How It Looks On The Piano Keyboard

To translate what you see in the image above, let’s view my piano below and see what keys you’ll hit and the finger positions required to hit them:

C Major Octave Numbered - Absorbing Piano Lessons

C Major Octave Numbered

Piano Scales: C Major – How Does It Sound?

I’ve provided an audio clip with me playing the C Major scale. Take a few seconds to listen to it (the audio file will open up in a new window):

C Major Scale – Absorbing Piano Lessons

Watch the following video to see how it’s played: C Major Scale on Piano.

Conclusion

The C Major scale, although easier than the other major scales, will require practice on your part in order to feel comfortable playing it. Incorporating all of the piano scales into your piano lessons, builds up the strength and agility in your fingers and overall piano play.

Were you able to play the C Major scale appropriately? Leave your experience in the comments below.

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Piano Lessons For D Chord

Posted By Denise

As you go through numerous piano lessons, one common practice you’ll run into are chords. They are the basis of creating many songs and you may have heard them in your favorite songs.

In this article, we will go through the D chord to get a feel as to how to play it.

Piano Lessons For D Chord – What Is It?

A chord is a compilation of three keys played either simultaneously or separately. When three of them are played together, they are sometimes called a chord triad because of the three distinct keys that are played. The D Chord comes from the D Major Scale, which you can learn about in my post called Piano Lessons For Piano Scales – D Major.

Piano Lessons For D Chord – How Is It Played?

Here is how it looks on the treble clef:

D Chord on Treble Clef Staff

D Chord on Treble Clef Staff

The three whole notes depict the three notes that are a part of the D Chord. The numbers show how they should be played with your right hand. View how you would play them on the piano keyboard:

D Chord with Finger Position on Piano Keyboard

D Chord with Finger Position on Piano Keyboard

Piano Lessons For D Chord – How Does It Sound?

I’ve create an audio clip that demonstrates how this triad sounds like (audio file will appear in new window):

D Chord

Conclusion

Practicing the D chord in your piano lessons will give you great practice in playing and listening to music better.

What other combination of keys can you add to this particular chord triad to make it harmonious? Leave your comment below

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There are quite a few finger exercise books my mom bought me when I took piano lessons at a young age and they all helped increase the agility my fingers hadn’t had by getting them use to moving at different paces and reach a wider range of keys. One of the books that were helpful was an exercise book called Hanon-Schaum, Book 1and we’ll go through its contents and creator below.

Finger Exercises Using Hanon-Schaum For Piano Book 1

Charles-Louis Hanon was a well-known French pianist during the mid to late 1800s who wrote a very popular exercise book called
The Virtuoso Pianist in 60 Exercises – Complete (Comb-Bound)
. The finger exercises you’ll learn in Hanon-Schaum for Piano Book 1 contains 32 pages of techniques that strengthen your fingers and aides in learning how to play the piano better. Each piece is written with eighth notes to help you work at a faster pace, separates the play from the left hand and right hand by performing at a distance of two octaves from one another, and is geared towards children and adults.

There are a total of 24 lessons with the first 20 lasting one page each while lessons 21 through 24 are two pages long. Hanon-Schaum wanted to create as much agility in his pupils fingers by arranging notes in both ascending and descending order, getting as much exercise for each finger. This helps you think about the movement of your fingers as you play each note, almost similar to learning how to type.

Finger Exercises Using Hanon-Schaum For Piano Book 1 – Exercise 1 Excerpt

To see what kind of finger exercises you’ll get in this book, I’ve added an excerpt from it. It is the first exercise, simply called No. 1, showing the ascending lesson:

 

Excerpt From Hanon-Schaum For Piano Book 1

Excerpt From Hanon-Schaum For Piano Book 1

There are quite a few finger exercise books my mom bought me when I took piano lessons at a young age and they all helped increase the agility my fingers hadn’t had by getting them use to moving at different paces and reach a wider range of keys. One of the books that were helpful was an exercise book called Hanon-Schaum, Book 1and we’ll go through its contents and creator below.

Finger Exercises Using Hanon-Schaum For Piano Book 1

Charles-Louis Hanon was a well-known French pianist during the mid to late 1800s who wrote a very popular exercise book called The Virtuoso Pianist. The finger exercises you’ll learn in Hanon-Schaum for Piano Book 1 contains 32 pages of techniques that strengthen your fingers and aides in learning how to play the piano better. Each piece is written with eighth notes to help you work at a faster pace, separates the play from the left hand and right hand by performing at a distance of two octaves from one another, and is geared towards children and adults.

There are a total of 24 lessons with the first 20 lasting one page each while lessons 21 through 24 are two pages long. Hanon-Schaum wanted to create as much agility in his pupils fingers by arranging notes in both ascending and descending order, getting as much exercise for each finger. This helps you think about the movement of your fingers as you play each note, almost similar to learning how to type.

Finger Exercises Using Hanon-Schaum For Piano Book 1 – Exercise 1 Excerpt

To see what kind of finger exercises you’ll get in this book, I’ve added an excerpt from it. It is the first exercise, simply called No. 1, showing the ascending lesson:

Excerpt From Hanon-Schaum For Piano Book 1

There’s a lot of information here, so let’s break it down. Underneath the title of the lesson is a note for teachers and if you’re an aspiring piano teacher or a parent that wants to help your child with their lessons, this book has some helpful information in the forward. You don’t have to be a teacher or parent to use this book for your own personal lessons.

After that, you’re given directions on how to manage these exercises on a daily basis. You’ll learn one for the entire week, practicing it five times a day and the following week do the same for the new lesson, but repeat the previous week’s exercise once a day. Taking the time to practice like this everyday will increase your piano playing and reading skills.

The last part is the actual lesson that shows the starting finger positions for each note in the first bar for top and bottom clef staffs. This is done so that you’ll know how to approach each bar there after as you ascend and descend the keys on your piano keyboard.

Finger Exercises Using Hanon-Schaum For Piano Book 1 – Audio Files

Below are three audio files for this particular lesson. The first audio you’ll hear me play the treble clef notes, the second is of the bass clef notes, and finally the entire exercise. Click the play button to listen to the first clip (each audio file will open up in a new window):

 

Hanon Schaum Book 1 Treble Clef Exercise 1

Hanon Schaum Book 1 Bass Clef Exercise 1

Hanon Schaum Book 1 Exercise 1

Conclusion

Hanon-Schaum Book 1Hanon-Schaum, Book 1 is an excellent book for adults and children who are looking to begin taking piano lessons. The finger exercises are detailed in their arrangements but also provide a comfortable way to learn how to play the piano. If you’re interested in buying this book for your collection, click the image to the left to order yours today.

Did you try the lesson above? If so, were you able to figure out the descending part? Leave your comment below.

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There are many forms of finger exercises that you can learn to play the piano and are provided by many composers. But the one consistent workout you should do with your fingers is playing the major piano scales. Today we are going to learn how to play the D Major scale.

Piano Scales: D Major – How It Looks On The Treble Clef Staff

Let’s take a look at the D Major scale and determine what keys will be played. If you read How to Read Sharps And Flats For Your Piano Lessons, you’ll remember that some notes will require you to use the black keys in order to produce the proper sound or pitch. The D Major scale has two sharps within its range and can be seen in the treble clef image below:

D Major in Treble Clef Staff

D Major in Treble Clef Staff

After going through the Learn How To Play The Piano – Finger Positions, beginning lessons will place the number of the finger in the music sheet so you can comprehend the proper way to play a note. The image below shows what fingers you should use to play this scale:

D Major with Finger Positions

D Major with Finger Positions

 

Piano Scales: D Major – How It Looks On The Piano Keyboard

After seeing the notes in the image above, here are the keys to hit to play them:

D Major Scale

D Major Scale

The numbers on the treble clef are mimicked in the image below:

D Major Scale with Finger Positions

D Major Scale with Finger Positions

Piano Scales: D Major – How Does It Sound?

With your own piano keyboard, you’re able to practice this scale but I’ve added an audio file below so you can hear how it sounds (the audio file will open up in a new window):

D Major Scale – Absorbing Piano Lessons

Click the following link to watch a video on: D Major Scale on Piano.

Conclusion

Making time to practice your piano scales is important in building not only your repertoire but strength in your fingers. You’ll be able to stretch them so they can maneuver around your keyboard, which will help when you begin to play more complicated pieces in your piano lessons.

Did you try playing the D Major scale? Was it easy or difficult to play? Leave your experience in the comments below.

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